IM ReputationHow many products or services have you purchased from marketers that were just plain crap? And, how many times has a marketer failed to deliver their promised products or services to you? Over the past few years I’ve purchased several thousand dollars worth of ebooks, web site templates or software and have joined a number of membership sites. I buy these products to learn a new technique or a new software program to help run my business. I also buy info products, services, or join membership sites to keep up to date on how other marketers are running their businesses. Occassionally, there are sellers that fail to deliver their advertised product or service.

In every case, those marketers can be assured that I will never buy from them again. Not only that, but they should realize I will never recommend their products and will also tell everyone I can to not buy from them either.

Here are six examples of how not to do business.

Case #1:
In early 2006 a fairly well-known and successful marketer launched a free training course for beginners. The goal was to prove that the methods being taught could earn the group a combined $10 million in 90 days. The program started off quite well with a lot of good information. By the 4th or 5th month some members were having a little success while most continued to struggle.

It was about this time that the lessons started slowing down and the marketer disappearing from the program for several weeks at a time.

Eventually, activity on the site died down to almost nothing. In this instance, there’s not too much to complain about since the entire program was free. Still, the program was never finished and everyone was left with incomplete training.

Well, guess what? In late 2007 this marketer took all of the information from that training program and successfully launched it as a $497 home-study course! I didn’t buy it and I don’t recommend anyone else buy it either.

Case #2:
One of the moderators at the member forum in Case #1 saw an opportunity to take advantage of the failing training program. This moderator made posts and comments to build his reputation with members and, when the time was right, launched his own training program. But, not before he used his moderator’s system privileges to destroy the forum and ruin the member account of another moderator.

Having built up his reputation, this moderator’s new site would be free for any members of site #1 to join. Nearly all of the membership followed him to his new program which promised to teach everyone how to build a million dollar business. When the new site launched, well, there was a change of mind.

Everyone was required to put up $30 for a life-time membership. Later, a written case study was provided to the members describing how this marketer had built up anticipation and urgency for joining his new site. He then bragged about how it earned him $15,000 in one month from the new members.

Well, after a couple of months of some pretty decent content, this marketer also disappeared. Last time I looked, the site was gone and the marketer nowhere to be found.

Case #3:
In the fall of 2007, a member of the Warrior Forum posted a Special Offer for members. The offer was for a discount on his 1-year training course that amounted to $47 per month.

Upon signing up, lesson one was delivered immediately. The following month lesson two arrived. Near the end of month two this marketer sent a notice that he was a little behind and lesson three would be combined with lesson four the following month.

Month three and most of month four came and went. Emails to the marketer went unanswered even though the monthly payments continued to be withdrawn from my bank account. Near the end of month four I contacted the payment processor and cancelled the recurring billing. A visit to this marketer’s site shows it too is nowhere to be found.

Case #4:
One of the most profitable business models today is a membership site. Last August a marketer had a Warrior Special Offer where he would create 6 different niche membership sites per month that members could have to start their own membership sites. These sites included a template, graphics and articles to add as content for a one-time payment of $27.

Upon accessing the site for the first time there were only four niche sites available. After several weeks, additional content was added along with one more niche site. In order to make up for the lack of promised products, the marketer gave everyone access to his other site offering the same thing.

I check the site maybe once a month but no new content has been added since last September.

Case #5:
Quite often you will see the more well-known and experienced members of the Warrior Forum challenge the validity of another marketer’s products or services. Their questions and insight help other members filter many of the good products from the bad.

In this Case Study, an offer was made for a training program claiming to help you build a Virtual Real Estate empire in 6 months that had the potential to earn a six-figure income. After a round of grilling from the skeptics, one of the Warrior Forum moderators joined the program and said the information being provided was “as advertised”.

The training consisted of downloadable videos, transcripts of the videos, and is to include a couple of bonuses at the end of the program.

The program started in late 2007 and, although not always on schedule, the video and transcript have been provided. However, with a little over 75% of the program provided, no further lessons have appeared on the site for almost 3 months now. It’s really too bad since the content was actually useful and good.

Case #6:
A little detective work by those experienced and skeptical Warriors mentioned in Case #5 uncovered what appears to be a case of blatant fraud.

Let’s go back a couple of months to when a marketer posted in the main Warrior Forum his methods for earning a substantial online income. It was no coincidence that the marketer was also running a Special Offer for the forum members, a strategy that’s frowned upon.

The ensuing debates led to this marketer eventually being banned from the Forum.

Fast forward to the beginning of April where a new forum member is selling “her” new product that describes how “she” just started her marketing career in January of this year and has earned more than $3,000 in her first month ($10,000 the second month).

A little detective work revealed that the methods being sold were actually written by someone else a couple of years ago. Another debate ensued until the whole “scheme” came unravelled. Information in the product being sold was copied from another product, the seller’s age and identity couldn’t be verified and the seller was using another member’s user name.

Further investigation revealed false addresses and a connection to the marketer banned from the forum.

Conclusion:
So, how can you tell the good guys from the bad? No matter how much research you perform, there will alway be someone out there trying to take your money in order to make the fast buck.

When you’ve been in this business long enough you see who the good guys are. These are the marketers that over-deliver on their promises and products. These are the marketers that provide help to beginners behind the scenes without the need for recognition.

Ask yourself this one question before buying any product or service – “Is this product or service something I can implement right now to grow my business?”

For any product or service you are contemplating buying, look for transparency. Do you know the seller and their reputation? Is the seller available to answer your questions or do they make it almost impossible to contact them? In the menu at the top of every page on this site is an “About” link where you can see a photo and a description of me and my company. Also, in the top menu is a link to a contact page where you can send your questions or comments directly to me. Yes, I do read them and I do reply to them personally.

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    1. Marilyn says:

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